Your Answer:  Satan/The Devil

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New American Standard Version of the BibleAnd the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him." Revelation 12:9 (NAS)

As we saw in the previous scenes of Revelation, the images given are not real physical things (e.g., dragons), but instead are images used as word-pictures. 

Most people that have read the New Testament will quickly realize the similarity between the images in the first part of the chapter and the story of Jesus.  Let's look at these similarities below:

Comparing Revelation 12 to the Story of Jesus

Revelation 12:1-6 (NAS)

Summary of the Story of Jesus:

1A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars;

In the book of Genesis, God made certain promises to Abraham.  All the nations of the earth were to be blessed by a coming child, who would be a descendant of Abraham through his son Isaac. 

New American Standard Version of the BibleGenesis 22:18 "And in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice." (NAS)

God's chosen people prior to the coming of the Messiah were the 12 tribes or descendants of Israel (also called the Israelites, children of Israel, the Jews).  Israel (also called Jacob) was one of Isaac's twin sons.  The story of the 12 tribes of Israel and the promises made by God to them are contained in the Old Testament.  Jesus at one time told His 12 apostles:

New American Standard Version of the BibleAnd Jesus said to them, "Truly I say to you, that you who have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. Matthew 19:28 (NAS)

2and she was with child; and she cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth.


Jesus (the Christ...the Messiah) was born from the tribe of Judah, one of the 12 tribes of Israel.  Jesus' mother (the virgin named Mary) and her husband Joseph were both descendants of Abraham through Israel's son Judah (see genealogies at Matthew 1:1-16 and Luke 3:23-38).

At birth, Jesus came from His mother Mary's womb.  In another sense, Jesus was born from this nation of God, the Israelites.

3And another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems.

We know from Revelation 12:9 that the great red dragon is the devil (Satan).  We will look at the significance of the seven heads, ten horns and seven diadems (crowns) later in this lesson.


4And his tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven, and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her child.

From Jesus' birth, Satan attempted to have Jesus killed in many ways, including king Herod's murdering of the newborns in the village of Bethlehem (see Matthew 2:1-18).  Satan was also involved in the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness after Jesus was baptized in the river Jordan (see Matthew 3:13 - 4:11) and in the temptation of Judas, the one who betrayed Jesus before His crucifixion on the cross (see Luke 22:3-6).

5And she gave birth to a son, a male child who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up to God and to His throne.

Jesus will reign forever and His kingdom will have no end:

New American Standard Version of the Bible"And behold, you will conceive in your womb, and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. 32"He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; 33and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and His kingdom will have no end." Luke 1:31-33 (NAS)

Jesus is the Messiah...the Christ...the Son of God. He is the One who was prophesied to rule with a rod of iron:

New American Standard Version of the Bible"I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD: He said to me, 'Thou art My Son, today I have begotten Thee. 8 'Ask of me, and I will surely give the nations as Thine inheritance, and the very ends of the earth as Thy possession. 9 'Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron, Thou shalt shatter them like earthenware.'" Psalm 2:7-9 (NAS)

Shortly after Jesus' death on the cross and resurrection from the dead, He ascended up to heaven to be seated at the right hand of the throne of God:

New American Standard Version of the BibleNow the main point in what has been said is this: we have such a high priest (Jesus Christ), who has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, Hebrews 8:1 (NAS)

...fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2 (NAS)

6And the woman fled into the wilderness where she had a place prepared by God, so that there she might be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days.


After Jesus ascended into heaven, the plan of salvation and obedience to the gospel was spoken to the Jews in Jerusalem (see Acts chapters 1-2).  It was also spoken to the Gentiles...and those Jews and Gentiles who obeyed were added by God to the numbers being saved (see Acts 2:38-47). 

However, Satan would continue his attacks against God's people now that the Son was in heaven.  These followers of Jesus would soon see persecution and be scattered abroad (see Acts 8:1, Acts 11:19). 

New American Standard Version of the BibleAnd Saul was in hearty agreement with putting him to death. And on that day a great persecution arose against the church in Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. Acts 8:1 (NAS)

For the true followers of God and Christ, this world is not our home, but rather we long for the day in which we are taken to our eternal home that Jesus has gone to prepare:

New American Standard Version of the Bible"All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. 14For those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a country of their own. 15And indeed if they had been thinking of that country from which they went out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16But as it is, they desire a better country, that is a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them. Hebrews 11:13-16 (NAS)

After the woman (who perhaps symbolizes the family of God, the body of believers) flees into the wilderness to escape the persecution of Satan, John sees in his vision a war in heaven:

New American Standard Version of the Bible7And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. And the dragon and his angels waged war, 8and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven. 9And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him." Revelation 12:7-9 (NAS)

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